Saturday, July 23, 2005

First impressions

It's been a while, I know. I'm lazy. I'm feeling pretty good, in case you're wondering. I was pleased to see that two new people have read my mumblings - thank you earlyman and Tsedey.

And apologies to earlyman for not replying with a suggestion for your lunch predicament - hope it didn't keep you up at night.

It made me think about first impressions and how if people met me when I had some really odd thoughts whizzing round my head, they would have been put off. They'd be thinking 'she's wierd' and stuff like that. But if they'd delved a little deeper, and held on a little longer, they'd find out I'm not really wierd, just a bit reserved. I don't want to pour out my life story just so they'll 'understand me better'. That would be wierd. They'd run faster and further than Forrest Gump. If I want them to, I'll tell them in my own good time about my breakdown, my emotional scars, and I'd go so far as pulling my battered suitcase from under the bed and show them my emotional baggage - if I felt they were mentally stable enough to take a peek.

It's funny how people think that first impressions count so much. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't, so go for a second viewing and then decide.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


Yeah, yeah, it's been a while....that will happen a lot as it can be painful bringing up 'the past' and I need time to recover. I've also gotten incredibly lazy being off excuses can justify my absence.

So the ex-boyfriend. Always a general slagging session, and it makes you wonder what you saw in them to start off with. I know I do. It's probably easier if I narrow it down to the main things that spawned the bitterness, despise and general loathing.

His idea of a romantic evening out was dinner for two. Nice enough, you think, but not if it's at the local Beefeater/Harvester/Brewers Fayre when they have a 'two for one' deal on all main meals eaten before 7pm. A dish of microwaved, highly-processed, deep-fried 'food' isn't my idea of romance. He'd think he was being generous, thoughtful, loving.....I think he was tight-fisted.

He was also overwhelmingly anal about loads of stuff. He kept an egg timer in the kitchen (not unusual) but it wasn't for eggs. It was for tea. He'd worked out (so he told me) the optimum time a tea bag should be left in the mug to brew, and by setting the timer, you would always make a perfect cuppa. I played along (fool) as I thought it was an amusing foible...but it started to grate, and now I am free to make tea without the aid of a timer. He had a funny thing about food. He always insisted on a spare of everything being in the cupboard, so you'd never run out and insisted that when you used the last of anything, you wrote it down on the shopping list pad, conveniently located on top of the microwave. Woe betide me if I forgot...He wouldn't get angry, just patronising, to a point where I seethed. And everything had to be a particular brand; if it wasn't on the shelf, I'd have to go and ask one of the spotty 17-year old shelf-stackers to check in the back. Oh, and the toilet roll. Another of the things he'd tested out. It had to go on the 'right' way, for ease of pulling out the sheets. In his best patronising tone, he told me he'd tried it out both possible ways and that his way was the best way.

He also had the same breakfast every morning, which I found dull. I like a bit of variety in my life, even with breakfast. He'd have one type of cereal Mon-Fri and one type at the weekends. And he'd timed it that by the time he'd munched through the cereal, the buzzer on the egg timer would go off, denoting the tea was ready.

It's getting me worked up thinking about the things that led to a general bitterness, so I'll finish off.....more later..............

Sunday, May 01, 2005


So now you're wondering about this 'breakdown'. Or maybe not....either way it's coming out, as part of my on-going therapy.

I was beavering away in an ad agency as an Account Executive (note use of upper-case in job title - makes it seem grander than it actually is.) Problem is, I didn't really fit into the fast-moving world of advertising; I was much happier day dreaming about becoming a published writer than hassling the Creatives for something 'catchy' and 'inspiring' for my portfolio of clients. I'd also been stabbed in the back so many times that I had an alternative use as a colinder, and being on the sensitive side, I found it difficult to put the ritualistic stabbings behind me.

The workload piled up, I longed for a job that didn't just pay the bills. I wanted to do something that made me happy; something I felt proud of; something more 'me'. And my relationship was going down the pan (not that I minded, as I'd got fed up with him, more about that later), but it did mean an inconveniene of finding somewhere new to live in a part of the country I didn't like. I missed home. For their foibles, I missed my parents. I missed the comfort of going to the bottom cupboard next to the washing machine and knowing that in the back was my Dad's stash of biscuits, squirreld away from Mum who was permanently nagging him to lose weight. If only she knew why her low-fat, low-taste meals weren't working. But then I wouldn't have the stash to nibble on, and I wouldn't have the knowing glances with my father which kept us bonded like PVA.


To sum up: job stressful; not happy in job; shit boyfriend; shit city; missing home. You may think that this isn't enough to qualify for a breakdown, but I pulled it off on these grounds, and was in a bad enough state for my GP to sign me off from work for an indefinite period and put me on medication.

Not expecting any sympathy........a wee bit wouldn't hurt...

Long time coming

I would have been back sooner, but my Mum’s had me on an intensive ‘Empower Your Life’ course in an attempt to get me motivated. It’s run by the Salvation Army, so there’s a bit of religious shit, plus the usual trawl through trust exercises. The main thing is it’s free. It also gets me out the house whilst Mum and her lavender-smelling bridge buddies shuffle cards and drink gin. I reckon she put me on it just to avoid the embarrassment of her ladies circle seeing her daughter, who made it through university (albeit an old poly) got a well paid job and then decided to ruin the ‘I’m so proud of my little girl’ routine, by having a breakdown.

It’s finished now and I thought I’d have a bit more free time to do jack, but I found myself agreeing to swap numbers with the rest of the group so we could meet up now and again and give each other support. Bad move.

That night I got a call. It took a while to work out who it was, but then it dawned on me – it was the ugly bloke. Fuck. He wants to go for a drink; just the two of us. Fuck. Does that make me ugly? Surely ugly people get together with other ugly people and gorgeous with gorgeous? Lyle Lovett and Julia Roberts bucked the trend, but it didn’t last. She was better than him.

After a mumble of syllables I’d got rid of him, but I still wondered if he thought we were on a par. He must be out of his mind. I’m no model, but I’m nowhere near this guy on the ugly scale either. He must have decided to aim high and not care about rejection. He won’t ask again.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Counsellors Cost Money

My counsellor told me talking helps. It also costs money. Now I'm skint. It's cost me £680 to talk to him....and I've not yet 'worked through' all my 'issues'. So here I am, Linsey Bartlett, needing to talk but without the cash to do it professionally.


At £40 and hour, I reckon counsellors have got it sussed. All they have to do is sit there and listen to people pouring their guts out and nod and 'hmm' now and again and take the money. Fuckers. They don't even offer advice - it's not what they're about; they're there to listen, to give you the space to release the thoughts and feelings that have bugged you since you were five. I may as well have talked to the wall like Shirley Valentine.

But I needed it. I needed my 'space'. But now I'm skint, and still need 'space', so here I am. A cheap version of counselling. A problem shared is a problem halved, and as I potentially could reach millions with this, I should be fixed in a shimmer.